On the Same Page

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

To introduce students to the stages of story development as well as have students understand the components of good quality children's literature, including storyline, layout, and illustrations.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learners will:

  • list and identify the components of a good quality children’s story.
  • list, define and recognize the five stages of story development.
Materials 
  • read-aloud copy of Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Suess
  • read-aloud copy of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Student journals
  • Felt markers
  • Classroom resource of writing instruction, such as Write Source or the attached handout one: Teaching Stages of Story Development Teacher’s Guide
  • Student copies of the following handouts:
  • Necessary Steps Recording Sheet (Handout Two)
  • Critique Page (Handout Three)
  • Story Elements (Handout Four)
Bibliography 
  • Geisel, Theodor Seuss. Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss {pseud.}. New York: Random House, 1968.
     
  • Pfister, Marcus. The Rainbow Fish. New York: North-South Books, 1992.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Journal Entry: Refer to the story “Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch” to answer the following questions:

    1. What was the message of the story?
    2. What was the turning point (the point that changed how things were going)?
  2. Day One:

    Go over the journal entry together. Ask students who it was that resolved the problem. Discuss the idea of “community” and working together for the common good.

  3. Ask for feedback on the homework assignments and collect Stories Worth Sharing, (Handout Six from Lesson One: The “Moral” of the Story)

  4. Using a classroom resource or Teaching Stages of Story Development Teacher’s Guide (Handout One), go over the five stages of story development. Instruct students to use the note section of their journal to take notes about each step. The Write Source, 2000 is an excellent resource for this. If you are using The Write Source, you may consider having students read through the chapter on story writing (pages183-192). Ask students to think about Horton Hatches the Egg and identify each stage of that story.

  5. Distribute copies of Critique Page (Handout Three). Instruct students to use their notes on the Five Steps of Story Writing to complete the first column. Have them put the definitions in their own words. They will not complete the last two rows (story line and illustrations).

  6. Day Two:

    Anticipatory Set: Journal Entry: Ask students to write a brief explanation of the value of a children’s story. Go over their answers as a whole group.

  7. Present the story Yertle the Turtle. Distribute one copy of Necessary Steps Recording Sheet (Handout Two) to each student. Once students have had enough time to complete their reflections, ask volunteers to share their responses.

  8. Using Yertle the Turtle as guided practice, ask the students to identify the five different steps of the story. Go through them one at a time and have students record the answers on their handout in the column under Yurtle the Turtle.

  9. Teacher Note: If students appear to need more practice, have them identify the five parts in the other stories you presented to the class.

  10. Answers for Yertle the Turtle:

  11. Exposition:

  12. Main character: Yurtle

  13. Supporting Character: Mack

  14. Setting: At the Pond

  15. Problem: Yurtle’s kingdom is too small.

  16. Rising Action:

  17. Yertle piles up 9 turtles and climbs on their back.

  18. Mack complains

  19. Yertle piles up 200 turtles, his kingdom grows larger

  20. The moon rises

  21. Yertle threatens to pile up more turtles

  22. Climax:

  23. Mack burps

  24. Falling Action:

  25. The turtles fall.

  26. Mack lands in the mud and loses his rule.

  27. Resolution:

  28. All the turtles are free.

  29. Day Three:

    Anticipatory Set: Journal Entry: Have students create a list of five items common to children’s literature (e.g., few words on a page, large print, limited vocabulary, colorful, cartoon or other “childlike” characters, pictures on almost every page). If students do not mention a positive storyline, ask them to imagine they have a younger brother or sister of their own. What types of stories might they choose for this youngster?

  30. Using a T-graph, generate a list of student responses from the above question on the board and categorize their answers into storyline and illustrations. Instruct students to add this information to the note section of their journal. Storyline Illustrations. 

  31. Tell students to use the information from the T-graph to complete the last two rows of Critique Page (Handout Three). Take a few minutes to introduce The Rainbow Fish. Use this story to fill in the bottom two rows of that column. Generate a short discussion about the Rainbow Fish’s motivation for sharing his scales. It was in his best interest to share his scales but he lost his unique beauty. Is this still an example of philanthropy or giving for the common good?

  32. Have students partner up. Instruct students to take out their library books and their homework pages. Give them a few minutes to share their books. Distribute one copy of Story Elements (Handout Four) and fine tip felt markers to each group of two students. Instruct them to complete the table by recording the similar elements across the columns (one idea per box). Once groups have had the opportunity to complete the attachment, have students cut the boxes apart and present their findings to the class, while placing their cards on the posted banners. (All components regarding the storyline should be on one banner and all components regarding illustrations should be on the other banner.) Ask students to report as a whole group on their findings.

  33. Have students do a quick journal-write expressing their opinions on which virtues or principles they used within their group to be successful.

Assessment 

Necessary Steps, Critique Page, and Story Elements may be used as assessments.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.7 Identify how market economies, democracies, and families solve disputes.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.7 Compare an open, democratic community to a closed, totalitarian community.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Explain and give examples of enlightened self-interest, egoism, and altruism as they relate to philanthropy.